Saturday, February 24, 2007

How to Give a Tarot Reading in 7 Memorable Steps

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There are many, many ways to read Tarot cards, but it helps to
have a consistent method that you use each time - this way, you
can think less about how you're going to read and focus
completely on your subject, the cards and their meaning.

A basic reading can be boiled down to seven steps: Rituals,
Shuffling, Selecting, Turning, Reading, Discussion and Refining.

Rituals: Rituals are an important part of reading the Tarot, but
whatever those rituals may be will be uniquely yours. Some
people take special care of their deck, wrapping in a beautiful
cloth or keeping the cards in a special box. Other sleep with
their cards under their pillow, to increase their connectivity
with their deck, and many people feel that the must never read
their own cards using their deck. Whatever rituals you employ,
including the methods you use to lay out and read the cards,
keep them consistent. Before reading, make a silent opening
statement - a prayer or affirmation, or a greeting to your inner

Shuffling: Always shuffle face-down, so no one sees the cards,
and avoid bending the cards - this is no time for fancy tricks.
Beyond that, there are a number of methods of shuffling. You can
hold about half the deck in each hand, and insert one half down
through the other half. Another method, designed for maximum
hand contact with little damage to the cards, is the one
recommended by Norma Cowie in her book "Tarot for Successful
Living": Hold the deck face down in your dominant hand. Push
some cards from the top with your thumb into the other hand.
Then, push again, but this time to the bottom of the new pile.
Continue alternating a push to the top, then one to the bottom
until all the cards have been transferred. At this point, put
the entire deck back into your dominant hand and start over.
This method can be difficult at first, but your technique will
improve with practice. Stop shuffling when you feel that it's
time to stop, or if a card falls from the deck (and take note of
any fallen card, for it has meaning) and then return it or set
it aside. If you choose to return the card to the deck and the
same card turns up later in the reading, consider that

Selecting: Spread the cards in a line or sem-circle, face down,
above the area you will use for the layout. Ask your subject to
choose a card, then slide it face down to the first position
within your chosen layout, keeping it vertical, not horizontal.
Add new cards in the same order to complete the layout.

Turning: Turn over the first card from side-to-side, so it is
not reversed by you. Tell your subject the significance of that
card's position in the spread, studying the card to get a sense
of its meaning, both alone and in that position. Turn the next
card only when you're ready to focus on it, repeating until all
the cards are turned.

Reading: Using your knowledge of the Tarot or, if you're new, a
guidebook, comment on your impressions of the meaning of the
card. Don't just go by the book definitions of the cards - say
whatever comes into your mind. Look at the image on the card and
remark on the card's themes as they come to mind. Whatever your
first impressions are, they're correct. Then analyze the meaning
of the card in connection with its position and comment on it -
if a card is reversed, explain its meaning ("Upright, it means
_____") and then comment on its reversal ("But when reversed, it
indicates ______"). Do this with each card, saying what comes to
mind. Don't ask for validation from the subject yet, just share
any thoughts and interpretations that come to mind. Try not to
second-guess yourself or overthink what you're saying - you ant
to tap into your intuition, not your intellect.

Discussion: After you've given your interpretation of the cards,
ask your subject if anything you've said was particularly
meaningful as regards some issue in their life. If yes,
reinterpret the cards in more detail, specific to the
circumstances that they describe. If your client says no,
nothing sounds familiar, ask them questions and re-phrase the
themes of the cards - you may well be on the right track, but
need to explain the cards in a different way for the client
until something rings a bell.

Refining: Once your subject gives you some feedback, reinterpret
the cards in a way that's specific to the subject's situation.
Tell a story tying all of the cards together, explaining them in
as clear a way as possible. tying all the themes together, and
perhaps using a different way of explaining them which might
make it even clearer to the client. Focus on the positive
aspects of the cards, and stress that nothing is carved in stone
- the subject's actions can change the situation later. If any
of the cards indicate a negative event, explain again that the
subject is master of their own destiny and if they change their
course of action then they can remedy the situation and head off
trouble. Remind the subject that the cards only reflect what's
in his or her mind, and that they have free will to change the
outcome of future events. If you can;t get a good read on a
particular card, ask the subject to draw another and use it as a
modifier - read it in connection with the original card. If a
card was dropped or set aside during the shuffle, interpret it
as a guidance card, offering overall advice on the entire
reading as a whole.

Naturally, your style of reading Tarot cards will be unique, and
you may have a method that's very different from this one. As
long as you're consistent with your rituals and techniques,
you'll be able to focus entirely on reading the cards without
the distraction of wondering what you should be doing next.

Author: Cucan Pemo
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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Tarot Deck of Cards

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The tarot deck of cards, usually 78 in number, is divided into two separate categories, the major and the minor arcana (arcana from the Latin meaning of closed or secret). There are 21 individual cards, referred to as trumps, and the fool card in the major arcana. The minor arcana have 56 cards consisting of 10 cards numbered from Ace to ten in four different suits. In a traditional tarot deck of cards, the suits include batons, wands, rods, or staves; cups, swords, and coins, disks, or pentacles. In addition, there are four court cards, or face cards, in a tarot deck, including the page or knave, queen, knight and king in each of the same four suits.

One of the most interesting cards in a tarot deck is the Fool. He represents both the number 22 and zero. Twenty-two completes the cycle or journey of the major arcana, whereas zero represents the god of force, a symbol of our unlimited potential. A circle, therefore, has no end but continues on and on, a symbol of God and infinity. The bright sun above the Fool is a sign of energy that melts the snow on the mountains, bringing life and nourishment to those below. In addition, there is more significance to the Fool card in the tarot deck, such as the bag representing memories, the eagle for aspirations, the white rose for purity, and the dog symbolizing the eventual course of evolution.

The number two card, the Magician, signifies the conscious mind or the ability to control from above what occurs below by the wand, the cup, the sword, and the coins. Thoughts of passion and desire are held in check by the wisdom and purity of the Magician. The High Priestess, the subconscious mind, reflects a balance or impartiality between the light and dark pillars, the two opposites of male and female. Her knowledge and experience provide the proper and wisest course of action in the link between the conscious and the subconscious.

An older version of the Magician is the Emperor, the ruler who controls the system needed for effective management of thoughts and desires. The Empress in a tarot deck is simply an indication of time. It represents the 12 signs of the zodiac, an indicator that eventually all thoughts and aspirations will become realties. Another interesting card in the tarot deck is the Hierophant, the teacher or our inner self. The Hierophant makes decisions based on reason and intuition, which he has gathered in the cycle of life through experience and wisdom.

The Lovers card symbolizes relationships and partners, the compatibility of male and female. In this card, the woman is the subconscious, the male is the conscious mind, and the angel above them represents the superconscious. In time the female gains the wisdom and inspiration to give to the relationship, raising it to a spiritual level.above the physical or materialistic world. Our will is controlled through strength and driven by the Chariot. The Hermit might well be considered the creator; he stands alone above the rest simply by virtue of his wisdom and success. The lantern he holds offers enlightenment for those who would follow. Furthermore, the Wheel of Fortune reveals to us who we really are and Justice corrects the mistakes of our past and makes them right. Interestingly enough, the Hanged Man is upside down, the way that others see us in contrast to the way we really are. In the cycle of life, the tarot deck includes the Death card, for death must come to everyone. However, the meaning of Death in the tarot cards is a transformation and rebirth of consciousness to a higher level.

In addition, the Temperance card depicts an angel, with one foot in the water and one on the earth. Similar to the High Priestess, she too balances wisdom and introspection with desire and doubt, further solidifying the link between the conscious and the subconscious. The Devil card symbolizes the lies and misconceptions we may encounter on our journey. Eventually, however we will reach the Tower with its bolt of lightning, an indication that we have achieved true knowledge and understanding.

The major arcana also includes the Star, often presented as a woman who takes from the pool of knowledge and relays what she has learned to the five senses of man. The Moon card represents our spiritual evolution from creation to creator. The tarot cards also emphasize the importance of the Sun for light and energy and the Judgment needed for an understanding of the link between the universal conscious of man and humanity. A final card in the major arcana is the World, which represents our place in the unending cycle of life, in relationship to an unchanging Universe.

The four suits of the minor arcana portray the various material aspects of life and the numbers, as interpreted through numerology, indicate the strength of the vibrations in each card. In the suit of wands, we see the realm of spirit, ideas, ambition, and growth in the fire, club, and creative cards. Our desires and feelings, not outwardly apparent, are reflected in the suit of cups by heart, emotions, and water. In the suits of swords, spades, air and intellect, the cards symbolize the struggles to bring ideas into reality. The final desired result is found in the suit of pentacles, where diamonds and earth represent the completion of the link between the conscious and the subconscious.

There are many types of tarot decks of cards, in a variety of styles, shapes, and number; however, their interpretation is basically the same in every deck. The reading of the tarot cards may prove fascinating to study. The tarot provides great pursuit for an occultist, or if you believe in the supernatural, or if you are simply curious about life and its ups and downs, and such aspects as love, career, and success. If you're seeking insight into the past, the present, or the future, perhaps you'll find it in the tarot deck of cards.

This article is free for republishing


Name: Sally Jordonia
Biography: Sally writes for Tarot Lines - providers of live tarot readings